Victim of botched Chicago police raid cancels meeting with Lightfoot after parties can't agree to terms

Victim of botched Chicago police raid cancels meeting with Lightfoot after parties can't agree to terms

12/29/2020

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A meeting scheduled between Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a woman handcuffed naked during a botched police raid was canceled after the parties failed to agree on terms of the gathering, a spokesperson for the woman said.

Anjanette Young, who is Black, invited Lightfoot, and other city officials and police for a closed-door meeting and public forum Wednesday to discuss "transparency, accountability and justice," a spokesperson for her attorney said in a press release.

But her attorney, Keenan Saulter, opted Monday to cancel the event altogether after Chicago’s acting corporation counsel, Celia Meza, told him Lightfoot "accepted the invitation to meet with Ms. Young privately but declined to participate in the public forum," the release states.

Young, a social worker, was seen in a video released earlier this month naked, being handcuffed by police after officers raided the wrong home in February 2019. First reported by Chicago’s WBBM-TV, the video shows Young telling officers multiple times that they had the wrong address. Police allegedly did not allow Young to put on clothes before cuffing her.

Young’s reps announced Sunday the plan to meet privately with the Democratic mayor at a local Baptist church, then participate in a public forum to which Chicago Police Department Superintendent David O. Brown and the agency’s 50 aldermen were invited.

But the event was canceled less than a day later.

According to Monday’s release, Meza told Young’s attorney that instead of attending the public forum, Lightfoot would "speak to the press at 12 p.m. while Ms. Young and the aldermen were engaged in the public forum at the same time."

Meza also listed other concerns, such as following coronavirus guidelines and that aldermen might make public statements that could "compromise their fiduciary responsibility to the city," according to the release.

A spokesperson for Lightfoot’s office would not confirm the concerns and did not provide any other reason for the conflict, but said the mayor "is eager to meet with and to hear directly from Ms. Young to continue the process of healing."

"Hopefully such a meeting will be possible soon," the spokesperson said in an email to Fox News.

Lightfoot's office reportedly tried to distance the mayor from the incident, saying it happened before she took office in May 2019 and blaming the Civilian Office of Police Accountability for not releasing the video earlier.

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a science initiative event at the University of Chicago in Chicago. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)
((REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski))

Though the incident was before Lightfoot became mayor, her administration later tried to block the video from airing and rejected Young’s Freedom of Information Request to obtain video of the incident. Young later sued to get it. 

The disturbing video prompted wide criticism, including from Chicago aldermen who called for more hearings on the "cover-up of a wrongful police raid." Black state legislators called it an "act of racism, gendered violence and yet another violation of a Black woman’s dignity and safety."

Lightfoot later apologized, saying during a news conference earlier this month she was "deeply sorry and troubled that [Young’s] home was invaded and that she had to face the humiliation and trauma that she suffered."

"That is just not right," Lightfoot said at the time. "It simply should not have happened. And I will make sure that there is full accountability for what took place."

But Saulter’s office slammed Lightfoot’s apologies on Monday, saying that without action, they "ring hollow and fall on deaf ears."

He said in a press release that Young would continue her lawsuit against the city.

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"The mayor’s apology, more than a year after she found out about Ms. Young’s treatment at the hands of the Chicago Police Department (by her own admission) is not justice," Saulter’s office said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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